Time for a Romney Education Fact-Check

Eduwonk is featuring sparring bloggers this week, one representing the Mitt Romney campaign and one representing Barack Obama’s.

Today, Marty West, a professor at Harvard Graduate School of Education and advisor to the Romney campaign,  defends his candidate against charges that he would gut federal education spending. West writes,
But [Obama’s]  attacks on Governor Romney are inconsistent with the facts.  As Governor Romney told voters during last week’s debate, “I don’t want to cut our commitment to education.”  Despite the president’s claims, Governor Romney has proposed no reductions in federal education spending.

Romney at the Feb. 2012 CNN Debate in Arizona: “Education has to be held at the local and state level, not at the federal level. We need to get the federal government out of education."

Romney  in April 2012 at a closed-door fundraiser in Palm Beach: “The Department of Education, I will either consolidate with another agency, or perhaps make it a heck of a lot smaller. I'm not going to get rid of it entirely."

Romney in March 2012 on VP candidate Paul Ryan’s budget:“I’m very supportive of the Paul Ryan budget. It’s a bold and exciting effort on his part and on the part of the Republicans, and it’s very much consistent with what I put out earlier…I applaud it. It’s an excellent piece of work and very much needed.”

(FYI, here’s what Ryan’s budget does for education:

•    Eliminates more than 190,000 Head Start slots for poor children by 2014 and will result in more than 2 million children being shut out of the preschool program over the next 10 years.
•    Reduces or eliminates Title I services to 4 million K-12 students.
•    Cuts Pell Grants to more than 9 million college students by more than $1,000 in 2014; over the next decade, more than 1 million students would lose this aid entirely.)